Spillover Effects of Inclusion of Classmates with Emotional Problems on Test Scores in Early Elementary School

27 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2009  

Jason M. Fletcher

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs; Yale University - School of Public Health

Date Written: June 22, 2009

Abstract

Over the last decade, the federal government has directed schools to provide educational instruction for students with special needs in general education setting to the extent possible. While there is mixed evidence on the effects of these inclusion policies on the students with special needs, research examining potential spillovers of inclusion on non-disabled classmates has been scarce. There is particularly little research on the effects of inclusion policies on classmates during early elementary grades. This paper begins to fill in this gap by using a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of Kindergarteners. Cross sectional results suggest that having a classmate with an emotional problem decreases reading and math scores at the end of Kindergarten and first grade by over 10% of a standard deviation, which is 1/3 to 1/2 of the minority test score gap. In order to control for non-random sorting of students to schools as well as students to classrooms, this paper uses school-level and then student-level fixed effects. Results from the preferred empirical models suggest a decrease of approximately 5% of a standard deviation in math and reading scores, though the results are reading are less robust. The results also indicate moderate racial and gender differences in the effects.

Keywords: inclusion, peer effects, special education, elementary school

JEL Classification: I2, I28

Suggested Citation

Fletcher, Jason M., Spillover Effects of Inclusion of Classmates with Emotional Problems on Test Scores in Early Elementary School (June 22, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1424191 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1424191

Jason M. Fletcher (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

Yale University - School of Public Health ( email )

PO Box 208034
60 College Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
188
Rank
128,589
Abstract Views
1,084